Ducts are used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to deliver and remove air. The needed airflows include, for example, supply air, return air, and exhaust air.Ducts commonly also deliver ventilation air as part of the supply air. As such, air ducts are one method of ensuring acceptable indoor air quality as well as thermal comfort.
Having the proper ductwork in your home is vital to an efficient air-conditioning system. The ducts need to be the right size, in the right places, and must be properly sealed
The Importance of Size
If your ducts are too small they will operate noisily. Ducts that are too small can also cause damage to your central air unit. If your central air is working, outputting cool air, and that air is not moving into your home, the air conditioning unit may overheat and become damaged. The professionals at Seer Air Conditioning Corp are experienced at designing and installing ducting. If your home has no ductwork, we can help you plan how many cubic inches of space your ductwork needs to deliver for optimal cooling. If your home has existing ducting, we can analyze it to find out if it is right for your home’s cooling needs.
The Importance of Placement
Having your ducts in the right place is also imperative for efficient cooling. Some homes have heating ducts, but do not have central air. In this case, you can sometimes use the existing vents to house your central air system. Sometimes, however, the old vents are not in the optimal place for cool air to enter a room. Because heat rises, these vents are often low, even on the floor. This is not the best place for cold air, unless you love having icy feet. Consider having your house re-ducted if this is the case in your home.
The Importance of Sealing
Your ductwork also needs to be properly sealed. Duct tape, the kind that comes in sliver and many other colors, was designed to seal cracks in ducts. However, this tape can dry and fall off, and is not a permanent solution to a problem with your duct. Instead try metal aluminum foil tape. This tape is also designed for ducts, but lasts much longer. You can also call Seer Air Conditioning Corp and have your ducts professionally sealed with duct sealant. This compound will last longer and provide a better seal than any type of tape. Because we repair AC in and around Miami and Fort Lauderdale, we are ready to come to your house and seal your ducts properly.
Improve Air Conditioning: Avoid These 5 Ductwork Design Mistakes
It seems like there are about a million things that need to be considered when you’re planning a renovation of your commercial space. And the problem is, unless you’ve done this many times before, you may not know about all of them. That is, until you’ve made a mistake and it’s too late to correct it.
If you’re like most business owners, you probably didn’t realize that your HVAC system and its ductwork design is something you need to be thinking about even before the architect has completed the plans.
Do you want comfortable, consistent temperatures in your space? How about good air quality? Energy efficiency? If you do, then it pays to plan your ductwork design early in the renovation process to avoid mistakes.
Consequences of Poor Ductwork Design
According to the US Department of Energy, the average HVAC duct system is only about 60 percent efficient. That means air is not flowing through your space and your HVAC system as it should be, which leads to all kinds of undesirable consequences, including:
- Hot and cold spots, drafts and stuffy air in your space due to impeded air flow.
- Extra wear and tear on your air conditioner, since it needs to run longer and work harder to compensate for flaws in the ductwork design, leading to more breakdowns and shorter equipment life.
- Poor air quality that exposes the occupants of your space to increased levels of dust, pollutants, fumes, and even mold growth from too much humidity.
Unbalanced air pressure that causes odors to linger, doors to slam by themselves and distracting levels of noise in your space.
5 Common Ductwork Design Mistakes
Proper ductwork design ensures the level of air flow that your HVAC system needs to operate efficiently and provide the comfort you want and expect in your renovated space. Here are some of the common ductwork design mistakes that impede the function of your air conditioning:
DUCTWORK DESIGN MISTAKE #1: Undersizing
Contractors can make the mistake of failing to consider the type of air conditioning system you have, load requirements of different rooms, where ducts and equipment are located, and the materials used to construct them. All of these factors affect the proper sizing of your ducts, and getting it wrong often means your ductwork is undersized.
DUCTWORK DESIGN MISTAKE #2: Runs that are too long
When the location of HVAC equipment and ductwork design and not optimized in the planning phase, the equipment may end up far away from the space to be cooled. That may necessitate long runs of ductwork that decrease the system’s ability to move conditioned air to hard-to-reach areas.
DUCTWORK DESIGN MISTAKE #3: Sharp bends
Just like long runs impede air flow, bends in the ductwork that are too sharp or too numerous also decrease the amount of air that actually reaches the space to be cooled.
DUCTWORK DESIGN MISTAKE #4: Air leaks
Ducts that are incorrectly sealed or supported can end up leaking cooled air into the walls where it won’t do any good to the occupants of your space.
DUCTWORK DESIGN MISTAKE #5: Lack of returns
To maintain balanced air pressure and air movement, your duct system needs return vents for air in the room to be pulled back into the HVAC system. Not providing enough returns is a common ductwork design flaw that leads to comfort complaints.
6 Tips for Good Ductwork Design
To make sure your ductwork is properly designed, start by involving a knowledgeable HVAC design professional early in your renovation design process. An experienced pro like Seer Air Conditioning Corp will work with the architect or engineer to do the following:
1. CHOOSE THE BEST LOCATION FOR HVAC EQUIPMENT AND DUCTS.
With proper planning, the HVAC equipment should be centrally located in the space to allow for the shortest possible duct runs. Ducts should be located in internal walls and ceilings to minimize the loss of conditioned air. Avoid installing ducts in attics and unconditioned crawl spaces for maximum efficiency.
2. A DETAILED LOAD CALCULATION.
Especially when your space has different rooms or areas with varying heating and cooling requirements, it’s important that the load calculations be done individually for each room, rather than only for the space as a whole.
3. CONSIDER YOUR EQUIPMENT TYPE AND SUPPORTING SYSTEMS.
Certain types of air conditioning systems, like heat pumps, require larger ducts. If your system includes air purifiers with activated charcoal filters, these also affect air flow and may require larger ducts and/or additional air returns.
4. USE THE RIGHT MATERIALS, FITTINGS AND SUPPORTS.
Ductwork materials can vary depending on the requirements and the budget, but make sure your installer uses the right materials for your needs. Flexible ducts (often called “flex”) made from reinforced plastic are easier and cheaper to install, but not as strong and durable as sheet metal.
If quiet operation and energy efficiency are very important to you, you might want to go with duct board, made from pressed fiberglass, which is more expensive but very quiet and efficient.
5. CHOOSE THE RIGHT DUCT SIZE AND LAYOUT.
Once all the system variables have been decided, your HVAC design professional can determine the most efficient ductwork design layout and calculate the correct duct size. To account for all the necessary factors, many professionals use a tool called ACCA Manual D.
6. ENSURE PROPER DUCTWORK SEALING.
Did you know that as much as 20 percent of your conditioned air can be lost when duct joints are not correctly sealed? The problem is compounded with high efficiency systems, which run longer at a lower capacity. Air is in the ducts for a longer period of time and so more can escape through leaky joints. Make sure your duct joints are sealed with mastic gum.
After reading this, be always careful to choose the proper HVAC contractor; at Seer Air Conditioning Corp is the Company you can trust for all you duct work needs